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A Picture Sparks a Memory

Fran Stone and Susie Gouz at a Rose Schnitzer Manor Choir rehearsal

Many conversations took place at a Women’s Art League show in Beaverton, Oregon, earlier this year, but probably only one connected people over thousands of miles and many decades. It may have gone something like this:

Fran Stone: I know you from watching the choir at Rose Schnitzer Manor. I am from New York. Judging by your accent it sounds like you are too.
Susie Gouz: What part of New York are you from?
Fran Stone: Brooklyn.
Susie: I’m from Queens.
Fran: Where in Queens? My husband is from Queens.
Susie: Middle Village.
Fran: That’s where my husband Murray was born.
Susie: How old is Murray?
Fran: He’s 87.
Susie: My dad would have been your husband’s age. I bet they went to school together…

And go to school together they did. Murray Stone had attended Public School 87 in Middle Village, Queens, as did Susie’s father, who passed away at the age of 59. They also both served in World War II (Susie’s father was stationed in Italy and Fran’s husband, who spoke Yiddish, helped liberate the camps).

Susie recalled that an old friend of hers owned an autograph book her father had signed, and she suggested that Murray might also have had an autograph book from the year they graduated from Public School 87. Sure enough, Fran had saved Murray’s autograph book from 1938. They found a page written by Susie’s father to “Snuff”, Murray’s nickname back then:

To Snuff: Remember once / remember twice / remember when we rolled the dice / in good old 87./ Luck. / Harold Goldklang

The note raised a lot of questions. What did Susie’s father mean by that quote? What did Snuff mean? Would Murray, now a resident at the Robison Jewish Health Center, remember her father?

Though Murray turned out not to recall (according to Fran he is in the middle stage of Alzheimer’s), Susie noted that some of the teachers who signed Murray’s book were at 87 when she attended it.

A few days later, Susie joined Fran on a visit to Murray, carrying her wedding album with photos of her father.

“When Murray saw the photos,” Susie said, “it was like watching a flower bud open up. He recognized my father right away. He said, ‘I know him, he was my friend. A short guy. We played baseball together. His father played with us, too.'”

Susie said her grandfather used to be umpire at those games.

When Fran first mentioned to Murray that she had met the daughter of a school friend of his, he seemed to want to recognize the name, but couldn’t. But the picture in the wedding album sparked a memory. Murray’s mother used to say that he doesn’t talk much, but when he says something, it’s important. Fran saw Murray’s face reveal an understanding she hadn’t seen in a while. She said, “It was like watching a flower unfold.”

The episode allowed Fran to reconnect with Murray as he once was. She said, “Murray isn’t the same person he was two years ago. Sometimes he doesn’t remember my name, but he still knows who I am.”

Fran said she and Murray are now living apart after 64 years of marriage. They see each other frequently and enjoy meals together on occasion. Murray is making new friends at Robison Jewish Health Center and has well adjusted to his new surroundings.

“He’s very happy there,” Fran said. “He says he could live at Robison forever.”

Tu B’Shevat Greens Up Cedar Sinai Park

Cedar Sinai Park residents celebrated Tu B’Shevat (New Year for Trees, or Arbor Day) by planting.

Robison Jewish Health Center residents gathered to plant daffodils, which now adorn the Robison Living Room. Rose Schnitzer Manor residents planted a Japanese maple in the forest on the south side of the campus. Prior to putting the tree in the ground, the group of residents and staff that gathered near the entrance of the Al Lewin Memorial Trail, recited the Prayer for Tree Planting:

2012 Tu B'Shevat RSM020812 (1)

Flanked by Community Program Director Kathy Tipsord, David Singer reads the Prayer for Tree Planting, Tu B'Shevat 2/8/2012

Lord, take pleasure in thy land of America and Israel
And bestow upon it of thy goodness.
Give dew for a blessing
And cause beneficent rains
To fall in the season,
To satiate the mountains of America and Israel
And their valleys
And to water thereon
Every plant and tree.
And this sapling which we plant before thee this day,
Make deep its roots
And wide its crown,
That it may blossom forth in grace
Amongst all the trees in America and Israel
For good and for beauty.
And strengthen the hands
Of all our brethren,
Who toil to revive the sacred soil
And make fruitful its wastes.
Bless, O lord, their might,
And may the work of their hands
Find favour before thee.
That it may flow
With milk and honey.

Happy Birthday in February!

Rose Schnitzer Manor residents who celebrate their birthdays in February enjoyed a birthday party on Monday, February 6, 2012, at the Goodman Dining Room.

  • Zelda Band
  • Diana Golden
  • Lillian Gitelson, celebrating 100 years!
  • Myrna Jacklyn
  • Suzanne Liberman
  • Helen Sachs
  • David Singer
  • Ed Stone

The Short-Lived Snow at Rose Schnitzer Manor

A resident’s family member, who lives in New Zealand, visited Portland during the recent snow days. Having lived in warm climes for most of his life, Eric Moskowitz said the snow was “rather novel” for him. He took the photos below and kindly offered to share them with our community.

Thank you, Eric, for sharing!

Happy Birthday in January!

Rose Schnitzer Manor residents who celebrate their birthdays in January enjoyed a birthday party on Monday, January 23, 2012, at the Goodman Dining Room.

  • Bill Larson
  • Sherma S.
  • Hermene Vines
  • E.S. Georges
  • Bob Taubman
  • Eva Klin
  • Marvin Prestwood
  • Marilyn Woldoff
  • Milt Hasson
  • Bill Loeb
  • Robert Rosenfeld
  • Anne Weiss

Purls of Wisdom Knitting Group Benefits Cancer Patients, Domestic Violence Survivors

Purls of Wisdom Hats Jan12

Some of the hand-knit hats the Purls of Wisdom Knitting Group is donating to good causes this week, January 2012

As we reported last June, the Purls of Wisdom Knitting Group at Rose Schnitzer Manor donates its creations to various causes. This week, the group will donate 43 hats to adult patients at Compass Oncology and 30 more to domestic violence survivors at Raphael House.

Group leader and Manor resident Annette Gerard had previously said that knitting for charity projects is “a nice way to keep busy and accomplish something at the same time.”

Seventy-Three Mitzvahs

While they’re proud of their accomplishments, the Purls of Wisdom members  declined to pose for a photo with their creations (see left).

One knitter emphasized, “Mitzvahs should be anonymous.”

Words of Thanks #1: Compass Oncology

Beverly Moser, RN, the chemotherapy nurse who received the hats  at Compass Oncology, wrote in an email:

I am only too happy to acknowledge this extremely generous gift, and hope my words let this group of women know that their actions, and the caring behind the handiwork, make a BIG difference.

I was humbled at the generosity of the Purls of Wisdom Knitting Group! The beautiful and high quality yarns chosen for their project could not have been inexpensive. The care and precision of the work, and the fun variety of styles, make each hat a highly desired piece. Our patients look at these hats as a “reward” of sorts, a gift for their hardship of having to go through the experience of cancer and the difficulties of chemo.

Many of these women and men have lost all or some of their hair, and getting to choose a soft, colorful hat to keep their heads warm seems to also “warm their hearts”. Our patients look like they have opened a birthday gift when they glance through the basket of hats for one that suits them. Often I hear them say “they’re all so cute, I wish I could take one of each”.

Patients frequently also inquire who has gifted these hats to the clinic, and we are glad to be able to give credit to the skilled knitters of the Purls of Wisdom. Each of them may know that a silent thank you goes out to them each time a patient receives their “gift” of comfort and friendship.

The nursing staff of Compass Oncology also sends our heartfelt thanks to the knitting artists. When our patients are happy, we’re happy, and these lovely hats definitely bring joy to the oncology patients under our care.

Words of Thanks #2: Raphael House

Amanda Grebner, Outreach & Volunteer Coordinator, at Raphael House of Portland, emailed:

All of us at Raphael House ofPortlandwould like to thank the Purls of Wisdom Knitting Group at Rose Schnitzer Manor for their ongoing support! There is something special about receiving hand-made items and these hats are no exception. It is clear that each one is made with care, attention to detail and love, and that fact isn’t lost on our staff or the people we serve.

Our organization provides emergency shelter and support to women and families experiencing domestic violence, so one can imagine the turmoil we see day in and day out. Since many families come to us with few possessions, we distribute countless clothing items throughout the year and must rely on the generosity of our community to provide these. Support from a group like Purls of Wisdom allows us to continue serving families in their time of need. And offering items that have been beautifully hand-crafted—like these hats—makes that action even more significant.

Thank you again for bringing smiles to so many faces here and for warming the heads and hearts of countless women and children in our programs! We truly appreciate your generosity and the contribution you’ve made to our organization.

Support our residents’ creative pursuits, donate online now. Thank you for your generosity!